2. Olbermann Likens bin Laden's 'Rant' to Hannity and Bozell
3. Few Secs on CBS & NBC, But Not ABC, on Capture of Dem Donor Hsu
4. Mos Def Denies Laden Behind 9/11, U.S. 'Murderously Meddlesome'
In an ABC News Special Report shortly before 3:30pm EDT on Friday, Brian Ross revealed that in a new video, Osama bin Laden "even refers to a broadcast on ABC News on an American soldier in Iraq complaining about the war." Anchor Elizabeth Vargas explained: "Seems to be referring to that particular story that was run on July 16th of this summer by our Nick Watt in Baghdad." On Friday's World News, Ross again noted how bin Laden cited the complaining soldier in ABC's story, and Ross added: "Perhaps, says bin Laden, his message 'will find in you an attentive ear so you can rescue him' and others in Iraq." The July 17 CyberAlert recounted how ABC's World News featured video of what was described as "great candor" from "bitter" soldiers in Iraq, one of whom demanded: "I challenge the President or whoever has us here for 15 months to ride alongside me."
From the September 7 World News:
BRIAN ROSS: ....Bin Laden makes several references to a range of recent world events: The new French President, the U.S. sub-prime mortgage crisis, the August anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, even a July report, carried on ABC News and British television, about a U.S. soldier in Iraq complaining about U.S. politicians.
PDF of a transcript of bin Laden's rant, as posted by ABCNews.com: abcnews.go.com
An ABCNews.com posting quoted bin Laden:
[This item was posted Friday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The Tuesday, July 17 edition of the CyberAlert recounted how:
ABC's World News on Monday night featured video of what was described as "great candor" from "bitter" soldiers in Iraq, one of whom demanded: "I challenge the President or whoever has us here for 15 months to ride alongside me." Fill-in anchor David Muir explained how "photographer Sean Smith of the British newspaper The Guardian was recently embedded with the U.S. Army's 2nd Infantry Division in Baghdad. Tonight, what he returned with: American soldiers speaking with great candor about what they face there every day." Unsaid by Muir, that The Guardian is a far-left socialist newspaper.
Nick Watt, who narrated the piece which showcased an incident in which the soldiers killed an apparently innocent taxi driver, relayed how "the soldiers of Apache company are tired and they're bitter." Viewers then heard from Specialist Michael Vassell: "Because we have people up there in Congress with the brain of a 2-year-old who don't know what they're doing, they don't experience it. I challenge the President or whoever has us here for 15 months to ride alongside me. I will go on another 15 months if he comes out here and rides along with me every day, 15 months." Following up with Martha Raddatz, Muir repeated his "candor" characterization: "How unusual is that they would use such candor to express what their up against?" A search of The Guardian's site determined that ABC's "exclusive" is two months old, as the paper in May printed the same still shots ABC showed Monday night: www.guardian.co.uk
The transcript of the report on the July 16 World News on ABC, in which Specialist Michael Vassell, not Corporal Jashua Lake, made the comment cited by bin Laden:
ANCHOR DAVID MUIR: We turn now to Iraq and an ABC News exclusive. Tonight we have an extremely rare and raw look at what American soldiers are going through on the front lines. Photographer Sean Smith of the British newspaper The Guardian was recently embedded with the U.S. Army's 2nd Infantry Division in Baghdad. Tonight, what he returned with: American soldiers speaking with great candor about what they face there every day. Here's ABC's Nick Watt.
NICK WATT: They have been here for a year. For the soldiers of Apache company, this day is like so many others. They're investigating a bomb-making factory hidden in a private home. Then an explosion [screams]. An Iraqi soldier bears the brunt. Neighbors, including children, are hit. U.S. soldiers, only one of them a medic, set up a first aid station and do what they can. Specialist Michael Vassell is among them.
SPECIALIST MICHAEL VASSELL: I challenge anybody in Congress to do my rotation. They don't have to do anything, they just come hang out with me and go home at the times I go home and come stay here 15 months with me.
WATT: Apache company was sent to Iraq in June 2006, on a 12-month rotation. Then extended to 15.
CORPORAL JOSHUA LAKE: It's a joke. We will have to spent 14 months in contact [meant 'combat'?], basically.
WATT: Corporal Joshua Lake's platoon is on what's known as rapid reaction duty one morning when the call comes in [shouting and swearing]. A Bradley armored vehicle is hit by a roadside bomb. Six American soldiers and an Iraqi translator are burning to death inside. Lake and his fellow soldiers raid a nearby house, searching for the attackers. [lots of yelling]
LAKE: We got grenades going off. We've got an IED blowing up your vehicle and then you are expected to go back in those four to six, four to five hours and get -- and relax. To come back and do another six hours, you don't have time. You just don't have time to do it. Your body never gets to come down, you're always on that heightened sense of alertness. You just don't have that. You don't have the rest.
WATT: Two days later, Specialist Lake is back in the neighborhood. His unit raids a house, looking for weapons and insurgents. They find neither, just an old woman and her dogs. Next day, U.S. soldiers spot a suspicious car circling the block where the old woman lives. They order the driver to stop. When he doesn't, they open fire. [Various voices: "No he's dead," "He's moving," He got one in the throat."] They try unsuccessfully to revive him. This woman says he was a taxi driver coming to pick her up. He was just looking for her house. The soldiers of Apache company are tired and they're bitter.
VASSELL: Because we have people up there in Congress with the brain of a 2-year-old who don't know what they're doing, they don't experience it. I challenge the President or whoever has us here for 15 months to ride alongside me. I will go on another 15 months if he comes out here and rides along with me every day, 15 months. I'll do 15 more months. They don't even have to pay me extra.
WATT: For Apache company, there is no rest. Nick Watt, ABC News.
DAVID MUIR: The soldiers' platoon was supposed to come home in May. Their tour has been extended to September. ABC's Martha Raddatz has been to Iraq 13 times since the war began, each time covering the troops themselves. And Martha joins us tonight. Martha, I know that you just heard what these soldiers had to say. How unusual is that they would use such candor to express what their up against?
MARTHA RADDATZ: David, I think it's highly unusual they would say that to a camera. But really, the longer you spend with them, the more they'll talk about their frustration and exhaustion. I've heard similar things on many trips over there. They really do believe that people back in Washington have no idea what they're going through day after day.
MUIR: We know that General Peter Pace is in Baghdad right now. Is it likely that he will hear comment like these?
RADDATZ: I've heard a few soldiers be very candid with some senior leaders, but not to the extent these soldiers were. You really have to be out with them to hear that sort of talk.
END of Excerpt
The July 17 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
[This item was posted Friday night, with two video clips, on the MRC's blog. The video/audio clips will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but in the meantime, go to: newsbusters.org ]
At the top of the September 7 Countdown, with "THE BIN LADEN TAPE: WHY CAN'T WE FIND HIM?" on screen beneath an image of bin Laden, Olbermann teased:
CBS and NBC, but not ABC, squeezed in brief updates Friday night about how Norman Hsu, the fugitive Hillary Clinton/Democratic candidate high dollar donor, failed to appear in a California court on Wednesday for a bail hearing and was captured Thursday night in Colorado. Both the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News, which aired full stories late last week on Hsu but not since, allocated about 20 seconds to the developments with Hsu. CBS anchor Harry Smith announced: "Back in custody tonight: Norman Hsu, the political fundraiser who donated hundreds of thousands to Democratic candidates while still a fugitive." NBC anchor Brian Williams reported how "the Democratic party fundraiser who skipped bail on fraud charges this week and disappeared....was found when he got sick on an Amtrak train in Colorado."
[This item was posted Friday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Harry Smith, handling the New York anchor desk with Katie Couric in Damascus, related on the September
7 CBS Evening News:
On the NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams noted: "We have an update tonight on the saga of Norman Hsu, the Democratic party fundraiser who skipped bail on fraud charges this week and disappeared. Well, last night he was found when he got sick on an Amtrak train in Colorado. He's now in a hospital there listed in fair condition, but no word on the nature of his ailment."
An AP story on the arrest of Hsu, which reported:
....Depending on his health, Hsu will appear before a federal magistrate on unlawful flight charges, then be turned over to state authorities for extradition to California....
Hsu was traveling on an Amtrak train Thursday when he became ill. An ambulance was called when the train stopped in Grand Junction and he was taken to St. Mary's.
Hsu had been scheduled to appear in a San Francisco court Wednesday to turn over his passport and ask a judge to cut in half the $2 million bail he posted last week when he turned himself in after spending 15 years on the lam from a felony theft conviction.
Hsu failed to show up at the hearing, and a judge issued an arrest warrant for him.
When it became apparent that Hsu had fled the state, California authorities sought the assistance of the FBI, whose agents arrested him Thursday night on federal charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution....
Hsu, a Hong Kong native, had spent 15 years on the lam from the 1991 theft conviction until he surrendered to authorities last week.
Prosecutors say Hsu bilked investors out of $1 million by telling them he had a contract to buy and sell latex gloves, but he never purchased the gloves and had no contract to sell them.
He pleaded no contest in 1991 to a felony count of grand theft and was facing up to three years in prison, but he skipped town before his 1992 sentencing date. Investigators believed he'd fled to Hong Kong.
Years later, he resurfaced as a top fundraiser, donating $260,000 to Democratic Party groups and federal candidates since 2004, according to Federal Election Commission records....
END of Excerpt
For the AP story in full: news.yahoo.com
For the previous limited broadcast network evening newscast coverage of Hsu, check the August 31 CyberAlert, "NBC Uniquely Highlights Hillary Clinton's Hsu Fundraising Scandal," online at: www.mrc.org
And the September 4 posting, "ABC and CBS Catch Up with Fugitive Clinton Donor Norman Hsu," online at: www.mrc.org
"Artist/Activist" Mos Def, a hip-hop musician and actor, matched Rosie O'Donnell Friday night on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher in espousing a bizarre 9/11 theory which absolves Osama bin Laden as he also characterized George Washington and the Catholic church as "terrorists," maintained that terrorists have legitimate grievances and trashed America as the threat to the world. [Be warned, this posting includes numerous profanities in accurate quotations.] Def contended that "George Washington and all them dudes was terrorists as far as the Queen was concerned," charged that "the Catholic church's stance about child molestation is a form of terrorism in and of itself" and when asked by Maher if bin Laden was behind destroying the World Trade Center, declared "absolutely not." Def asserted that "highly-educated people in all areas of science have spoken on the fishiness around the whole 9/11 theory."
A few minutes later, Def defended terrorism as a response to America's misdeeds: "Let's deal with the fact that there are valid reasons even to a lot of terrorists' arguments, quote unquote, terrorists' arguments about why are they frustrated with colonial presence, imperial presence. The way that this government has pursued its foreign interests has been meddlesome, murderously meddlesome." Directing his ire at President Bush, Def asserted that "this administration and this government has sought to suppress everyone and no one has sought to suppress America in quite the same way," yet the U.S. goes "to these places and fucking kill[s] people."
[This item was posted Saturday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
IMDb's bio page for Mos Def, whose birth name was Dante Terrell Smith, with a rundown of his movie and television show roles from Monster's Ball to Spin City to NYPD Blue: www.imdb.com
Transcript of some highlights, or lowlights, from the September 7 Real Time with Bill Maher on which Mos Def was joined on the two-man panel by radical far-left Princeton University professor Cornel West:
MOS DEF: When the Revolutionary War was going on, George Washington and all them dudes was terrorists as far as the Queen was concerned. [The Queen? A King ruled Great Britain at that time.]
DEF: I don't believe it was bin Laden today, I don't believe it was never him. I think it's some dude just standing, I don't even, I can't even believe. I don't even, I'm sorry, I'm from the projects, I know danger. I don't feel no danger from that shit, those mother-fuckers.
DEF: The Catholic church's stance about child molestation is a form of terrorism in and of itself.
DEF: Let's say these terrorist cells and all this al Qaeda is the boogie-man, okay, that's it, right. Why are they upset? Let's deal with the fact that there are valid reasons even to a lot of terrorists' arguments, quote unquote, terrorists' arguments about why are they frustrated with colonial presence, imperial presence. The way that this government has pursued its foreign interests has been meddlesome, murderously meddlesome.
-- Brent Baker